As we went into the penultimate week of 2021, the SaaS ecosystem didn’t slow down its pace at all. We saw several announcements, companies going public, and some significant funding announcements too. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what kept the space abuzz in the past 7 days.
News of the week
Fleet management software Samsara continues the track record of SaaS companies getting successfully listed. Its shares price increased by 7.4 percent, giving it a market capitalization of $12billion. The company raised $805million and trades under the IOT symbol.
The Photoshop maker has been one of the biggest success stories of a traditional company moving to the cloud. And to keep up with the times (amidst new-age rivals), it’s launched Creative Cloud Express. It allows users to create social media posts, stories, invitations, and things like logos and banners too. It offers thousands of templates, 20,000 Adobe fonts, and 175million licensed Adobe Stock images.
Avaya, a popular call center software company, held its annual user event dubbed Engage last week. The company has been transitioning towards the cloud to be a leading player in the communications platform as a service (CPaaS) space, and it made several announcements in that regard. Its ARR has jumped up by 180 percent from 2020 to 2021. The fact that Avaya offers the option of private and public clouds has also been working in its favor. In addition, it can also deliver voice or video with its contact center, or even APIs as well.
SaaS companies that got the funding this week
Airtable has raised one of the biggest funding rounds this year as it closed a $735million Series F investment. Led by New York City-based XN, the low-code software is now valued at $11billion.
Database software maker Cockroach Labs had raised $160million Series E round in Jan this year, and before 2021 ends, it has nabbed $278million in Series E investment. Valued at $5billion, the round was led by Greenoaks. The company also highlighted that its cloud business grew 500 percent y-o-y, and ARR also tripled from last year’s Q3 to the same period this year.
Contact center software Dialpad has announced a $170million funding round that values the company at $2.2billion. Led by Iconiq Capital, the company aims to improve its AI capabilities and hire across NLP, machine learning, data engineering, and more.
It was in February this year that Innovacer joined the list of Indian SaaS unicorns, and now it has trebled its valuation with its $150million Series E financing. Led by Mubadala Capital, Innovacer is now valued at $3.2billion. The funding will be deployed towards research and development as well as hiring across product, engineering, and customer experience roles.
OKR software Gtmhub has gotten $120million Series C funding. The round was led by Index Ventures, and while the startup didn’t disclose its valuation, it should’ve seen a healthy increase from its last Series B round of $30million in January this year.
From being a buzzword that was being thrown around to something that’s adding real value – AI has come a long way. Forethought, a startup that brings artificial intelligence to customer service, has just received a $65million Series C investment. Led by Steadfast Capital, the startup would be using the money for hiring and R&D.
Low-code software for data management, Hevo Data, has closed a $30million Series B funding round. Led by Sequoia Capital India, the investment will be utilized towards sales and marketing, product development as well as hiring.
Andrew Chen on how tech’s giants drive growth with network effects
A16z’s partner Andrew Chen recently launched a book dubbed “The Cold Start Problem“. In this podcast, he discusses what does he mean by the cold start problem, and how businesses – SaaS or otherwise – can overcome the challenge by leveraging network effects and ensuring that their product thrives. He illustrates this point with relevant examples such as Slack to spur growth.
Charting the journey of Leadfeeder from zero to $10million ARR
In this podcast, Leadfeeder’s CRO Jaakko Paalanen shares the journey of lead generation software from zero to $10million in ARR. He also discusses the early years, the evolution, and how they’re thinking about bootstrapping vs funding.
SaaStr Scale 2021
Building a SaaS startup is hard, but scaling it to $100million or more after the initial success is harder. That’s why SaaStr is sharing lessons from those who’ve done it through its Scale conference. Held virtually last week, the playlist has all the talks with leadership folks of companies like Databricks, Highspot, Tipalti, Zoom, and many more.